The Redskins are now 0-4 under Jay Gruden in season openers. The lack of a running game attributed to a poor outing by Washington’s offense against the Eagles. If the Redskins are to get better they have to get back to the basics.
Jay Gruden and the Redskins can ill-afford to have another 0-2 start. A loss to Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams would be a “code-red” situation to say the least. With AFC West powerhouses Oakland and Kansas City coming up in consecutive weeks the Redskins desperately need a win this Sunday to keep pace within the standings.
In the first installment of the “Put up your Dukes” Redskins challenge, quarterback Kirk Cousins clearly missed the memo. Cousins committed three turnovers as the Redskins opened the season with a 30-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. What should be even more disturbing for the Redskins offense is that Cousins finished the game as the leading rusher.
If the Redskins are to somehow win on Sunday, it’s imperative that they are consistently run the football. Although Jay Gruden has developed a reputation for being “pass happy”, numbers suggest that the Redskins are a better overall team when they can run the ball.
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Although the Skins finished a disappointing 8-7-1 in 2016, they were 6-1-1 in games that the team ran over for 100 yards. Jay Gruden went 4-12 his first year, but in all four wins, Washington rushed for over 100 yards. In 2015, Gruden went 9-7. In six of those wins, Washington rushed for over 100 yards. The lone exceptions were games against Tampa Bay, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Gruden’s offense doesn’t need to be dominant running the ball. Just good enough to take pressure off of Cousins.
WIth Garcon and Jackson no longer in the fold, Cousins has looked rather pedestrian. Jordan Reed has been dealing with a fractured toe. Cousins has not quite in sync with Terrelle Pryor, and he doesn’t trust Josh Doctson. He received zero targets against the Eagles.
Instead of having Cousins sling it around 40 times a game, Gruden should get a player like Samaje Perine involved in the game plan. Yes, he may have fumbling issues, but so did Matt Jones. However, that didn’t stop Gruden from featuring him against the Eagles last year he rushed for over 130 yards in Week 6.